2 8

Ambling madly all over the town, it's Cogs!

The indians are riding on iron horses. The steamcoach blasts across the desert trail, just ahead of the spray of flaming pneumatic arrows. At the reigns is DANIEL BOONE, with a coonskin cap on his head and a bowie knife holstered at his side.
Riding shotgun is Marshall, whom we've already met. He has a shotgun.

Daniel Boone: "More coal, boy, before these red injun bastards scalp our asses! … Er, scalps."

Michael Harrel: Inside the steamcoach, young MARION MORRISON shovels coal into the boiler, sweat pouring from his brow. Despite the boost in speed, the steamcoach is quickly surrounded by the smaller, more manueverable Iron Horses.

Marshall spits out his chewing tabacco, and takes aim with his shotgun. "Now I reckon we clearly said we were sorry about desecratin' that graveyard of your'n."

Michael Harrel: Several of the warriors part ranks, and the Indians' Chief, Dichali Wuyi

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: A flaming-red haired man punches out a window and glares out.

Daniel Boone: Boone checks his pockets. "Sheeeit, I left all my trade beads out East."

Dirk Tungsten: "I got somesmall pox blankets in my carry on. Just incase."

Daniel Boone: "Sure, let's wrap 'em to death."

Black Jack Ketchum: "Well, aren't we a classy bunch." Ketchum readies his shotgun, pausing only to pat down a truly epic moustache.

Michael Harrel: "Look," says the Chief. "We don't want to have to kill you. All that will accomplish is, more white bastards will come in and use it as an excuse to steal more of our land. It's just — would you MIND giving us back the skull of our ancient ancestor, which you stole? I've had to kill so many white sons of bitches already, I'm up to my nutsack in scalps as it is. Throw me a freakin' bone here, already!"

Dirk Tungsten: "What skull? If it's that crystal one you ain't getting it back. Somethings just aren't meant to be."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Fuck, Boone, you're as thick as manure but only half as useful. D'yeh tink he wouldn't notice you nickin' it?" Patty accuses Boone.

Michael Harrel: "It weren't Dan'l," says Marshall. he produces a bag from his duster. it's vaguely skull-shaped.

Black Jack Ketchum: "Damnit, Marshall! Again?"

Daniel Boone: Boone shoots a vindicated look at Patty.

Michael Harrel: "Sorry. Secret Service work," he says. "I'm on a mission from Emperor Norton himself. And we need this skull."

Daniel Boone: "Oh shut yer cock hole," he growls at Boone, who has said nothing.

Dirk Tungsten: "And the other eight in my bags. What? I like skulls…"

Michael Harrel: "What the fuck are you cocksuckers gonna do with a fucking skull?" says the Chief.

Daniel Boone: Boone, still a devout Lincolnist years after the man's death, regards Marshall with shock and irritation.

Michael Harrel: "You'll have to take that up with Emperor Norton," says Marshall. "I don't ask questions. I just steal skulls and, if necessary, kick your ass. Now, you gonna draw those guns, or whistle Dixie?"


Dirk Tungsten: "I got a fiddle?"

Daniel Boone: Boone spits. Dramatically.

Michael Harrel: Someone goes for their gun. Everyone goes for their gun.


The dust clears. Everyone collapses to the ground but Marshall. He's not on the steamcoach anymore; wihch is just as well because it's on fire. He lights a cigarette and starts to walk toward civilization.

Daniel Boone: "Sheeeeit." Dies.

Michael Harrel: There's a groan from the steamcoach: Black Jack crawls out from under a broken wheel.

Dirk Tungsten: "Someone! Make sure no one steals my skull!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "You are the seed, breed and spawn of an English whore, Danny Boy. I'll see ya in hell."

Black Jack Ketchum: "I've had better days." Spits. "At least Dirk was finally good for something."

Dirk Tungsten: "Not quite dead yet, Ketchum…"

Michael Harrel: "Come on, Jackie. Emperor Norton is waiting for us."

CUT TO: The alternate opening titles. Credits run as we see scenes of the american life, circa 1893.

Take my horse
Take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care
I'm still free
I'll steal more from the Co-man-chee!

CUT TO: The present. Sparling, Devlin, and Felix are on the Aether.

"Where are we going again?" says Felix. "As the navigator, it worries me that I don't know these things."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Just keep going north," Sparling grumbles, keeping the documents from Fox to herself, mostly because it feels good to have some secret documents to hold onto again.

Michael Harrel: "North, aye," says Felix. He looks to their new pilot. "You can do north, right?"

Dorothea Post - "Yes, yes I can. I'm also fluent in the other three cardinal direction. I can even mix them if you like."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "All right, let's all try to remember that we're in this situation because Luka and Mr. Falk are idiots. Save your ire for them."

Roland Devlin: "Indeed, listen to your captain, Ms. Post."

Michael Harrel: "Oh, saving, captain. Saving plenty."

CUT TO: A very pregnant Dr. Evelyn Higgenbotham, whose husband to be and father of her unborn child has recently been spirited away by her arch….someone vaguely familiar, perhaps.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn flips her cot over and grabs an emergency bag she has prepared. She scribles a note on a piece of paper on the desk. Pushing a button on the side of humphrey, he re-aligns into a robot once again. After strapping in, she begins to operate the controls.
"Humphrey! Forward!" She pulls a lever dramatically.
Humphrey stomps a leg and they plummet through the floor.

The cot is pulled over the hole by the wind.

Michael Harrel: 20:36:19


They're there. In the fast airplane and stuff.

Sittin' there.
Luka Arlexi: After a good twenty seconds of awkward glances. "So… do you want to go out some time, or something?"

Newton Falk: "Sure, Sounds good."


Michael Harrel: ….

Luka Arlexi: "I mean, if we don't die horribly."

Newton Falk: "Well, yeah of course. Otherwise.. aaaawkward."

Luka Arlexi: More silence.

Michael Harrel: CUT TO: MARSHALL BRIGGS is sneaking into the Parliament Building.
The parliament building is an enormous pyramidic structure at the heart of Mechanus. An enormous banner that reads, "Efficiency is necessary to vitality" hangs from the roof down the side of the building. Marshall uses this to climb down and through one of the windows on an upper level.

Inside, it's corridors upon corridors, a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: A few dozen meters down the corridor Marshall seeks, Fraulein Gutenabend stands with Baron von Heimlich, speaking together in low voices about mechanical antlions with antigravity technology.

Michael Harrel: Heimlich doesn't even know what hits him. Gutenabend, sensually deadly, manages to dodge out of the way as Marshall opens fire. But the Baron isn't so lucky — a couple slugs to the head, and he goes down. Marshall zooms past, entering a door marked "Top Secret Experimental Project: Keep Out".

After he passes, Gutenabend reappears in the corridor, and follows after him.


Marshall sets the skull-shaped bag on the Emperor's desk. "Just like you ordered, sir," he says.

Emperor Norton: "Fantastic, Griggs!"

Michael Harrel: "Briggs, sir.

Emperor Norton: "Right, right," he opens the bag and begins turning the skull around in his hands. "Who's the big chief now, eh?"

Luka Arlexi: Black Jack facepalms quietly.

Michael Harrel: "I assume you have the orders for my next assignment, sir?" says Marshall.

Emperor Norton: "What? Oh, yes! The secretary of exploration and expasion just told me that the California Territory is sending back the robos." he continues to play with the skull, pantamine bowling, "Those mechanical men they devised as mine labor. Seems they spend most of their time trying not to work, or worse fidning mexicans to do the work for them. So we need to you to take them somewhere."

Michael Harrel: "I'm babysitting a bunch of lazy robots? Sir?"

Emperor Norton: "Heavens no, Stiggs! You just need to see them as far as merry old England. And the longer it takes them to find a boat back, the better. Though our boys in applied hydrodymanics tell me there's a good chance they'll never want to go home. Seems they are, what's the word, "Positive Nobtropic" I think he said. Apparently they can't leave rich people alone. So they should be fine over there, right? Who's king these days, by the way?"

Michael Harrel: "Sire, I think they have some sort of…other kind of government now."

Emperor Norton: "Ha! Those brits and their fads. It'll blow over, just like democracy. Say, Triggs, you didn't happen to hang onto the chief's feather hat thing did you? I always wanted to try that on."

Michael Harrel: "…No. Sire."


Roland Devlin: "So,Capt., you're saying while the ship is in flight, the toilet just…?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Doctor Higgenbotham installed an atomizing filter in the disposal hatch, but yes. Mr. Falk particularly enjoys using the privy while we're in the vicinity of Cardiff."

Roland Devlin: "I see."

Michael Harrel: There's a sudden, loud explosion from the back of the Aether, and it starts to lose altitude, quickly. The new engineer's voice comes over the horn: "How does she keep this thing TOGETHER??"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Hell." Sparling runs aft to see if there's anything she can do to help.

Roland Devlin: Devlin sits down and begins reading a book.

Michael Harrel: In the aft of the ship, things seem to be coming apart at the seams, and several pressure gauges are whistling fiercely as everything is shaking, bolts loosening, and as she enters she sees that Barrot's hair is on fire.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "What the hell did you do?"

Michael Harrel: "Nothing! I swear it just doesn't like me!" He gives the engine support a fierce kick. It doesn't start up again.

"Captain," calls Felix over the comm. "Er…You know how normally we don't like to crash into the ground in a spectacular and deadly explosion?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: 21:26:25
"I recall," Sparling answers. "Go on."

Michael Harrel: "The kind where all hands are lost as everyone is enveloped in a gigantic fireball of doom? And the impact sends our spines out the top of our heads?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Yes…"

Michael Harrel: "It's probably nothing. Never mind. How's the engine coming?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Apart."

Roland Devlin: Over the speaking tube, "Capt, this is Devlin. Have Engineer Briggs look for a hatch or a trap door of some kind. Luca was forever storing her machinery around the place. I'm sure he'll find what he needs. And tell him to be more careful about her traps. She liked to sabotage things that are hers. And not one word about our relationship, if you please."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Ahh, I'll do that. Thank you, Devlin." As she puts the speaking tube back on its hook, she mutteres, "Hers my arse."

Sparling casts about for Luka's floor panel hiding place, but does not find it.

Briggs suddenly brightens (and not just because his hair is on fire. metaphorically, also). "Hey, these parts look brand new! I could install them, if we have just over 15 seconds before we crash!"

"Fourteen seconds to impact, captain," says Felix.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Do it," Sparling says.

Michael Harrel: EXTREME CLOSEUP OF A BLADE OF GRASS. There is nothing at all remarkable about this blade of grass: it's just there on the ground, soaking in the sunlight. And we're very close to it: it fill up most of the screen.

Suddenly, it's covered in a shadow, and there is a load roar. Something large and metallic suddenly jumps into the frame, bending the piece of grass halfway before leaping back off-screen!

CUT BACK TO: The aether zooms back into the air!


"Well that was close," says Felix over the comm.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Ahead of schedule, Mr. Briggs. I'll tell Devlin to increase your salary."

Michael Harrel: CUT TO: Marshall, in the Parliament Building. Just inside the Top Secret door, Marshall finds — a Gentleman Factory.

The newest batch of Gentlemen has just come off of the line, with general cries of "Pip pip!" and "Tallyho!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Conveyer belts! Jolly good!"

Michael Harrel: They exit stage left. Marshall sneaks around the nearer wall of the room, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone. That's when he spots it:

In the center of the room, beneath a sign marked "PROTOTYPE 2.0", lies a gentleman, dressed completely in *white*.

"Aw, shit," says Marshall.

Gentleman MkII: "Wait a tick… how does one operate these 'stairs'?"

Michael Harrel: Marshall exits hastily to the right, through a door marked "Parliament". Inside is a long room, empty of people, with a large table in the middle. On the table is a gun. At the far end of the table is a swivel chair turned away from the door Marshall has just entered.

Someone is sitting in the chair, smoking a cigarette.

"Ah, Mr. Briggs. I've been expecting you," says the person in the chair.

Marshall is taken aback. "It's…you!" he exclaims. "Thomas Edison…and the head of Henry Ford. "I was told I might find you here."

Henry Ford's Head: "Lift me up Tommy! I wanna see his face!"

Michael Harrel: "Shut up," says Edison. "Briggs, you're lucky to have made it this far, but I'm afraid this game ends here. After Emperor Norton kicked us out of America (stealing Hank's body in the process, I might add), we traveled here and were hired by the previous parliament to create the guardians of this state, the Gentlemen mk 1. Unfortunately for the parliament, we turned the Gentlemen in black against them and took over the entire continent!"

Henry Ford's Head: "Suck it limeys!"

Michael Harrel: "Wait…" says Marshall. "Did you say the Emperor stole Henry Ford's body, without the head? What would he need a headless body for?? Unless….." Marshall's mind clearly reels from the possibilities.


"Ha! King me!" says Emperor Norton. Norton is wearing the headdress.

"—And now," continues Eddison, "With the Gentlemen Mk 2, we will crush the obstinate Turks once and for all, and no one will stand in our way from — TOTAL — WORLD — CONQUEST!"

Henry Ford's Head: "As soon as they figure out stairs…"

Michael Harrel: "Yes, yes, we're working on that."

"Sorry, Eddie," says Marshall. "I can't let you do that."

Michael Harrel: "I expected as much from you, Mr. Briggs. You and all those small minded people out there." He gestures vaguely in the direction of everywhere else in Europe. "When I — we— came to this continent it was in a shambles, on the cusp of falling to the Automatons. Now look at it. Soon the world will be as efficient as the parts inside that clock there on the wall." (Conveniently, there is a clock on the wall.)

Marshall spits his tabacco. "That's a cuckoo clock, Eddie."

Henry Ford's Head: "It's German!"

"Look, I know where this is heading, Eddie. Are you gonna reach for that pea-shooter, or are you gonna talk me to death?"


A long pause.

Finally, Eddison speaks. "Actually, I was just talking so's you'd be distracted while some of my Gentlemen friends got into place behind you."

"What? — oh shii—!!!"

Henry Ford's Head: "Hit him in the head! Only the head!"

Michael Harrel: Marshall is hit in the head. Everything goes black.

CUT TO: Commercial

Michael Harrel: INT. THE AETHER HAS JUST NARROWLY AVOIDED CRASHING. Felix is happy about this.

Felix: "Hooray! We've narrowly avoided death again! It often seems that we're about to die, but then we never do! You hear that, O Death? We defy you!"

Michael Harrel: "Heading North again, sir," reports the piratical helmswoman.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling has been periodically searching the horizon with one of the bridge's attached spyglasses, though she knows they're at least half an episode behind Luka and Newton.

She blows out a breath and says. "That was close. Of course, Luka's not here, so I have no idea how it could have happened in the first place."

"I need a drink," says Roland. He heads aft. "I assume Newton has somewhat to wet my whistle in his quarters?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I expect most of it is rigged to explode in case of tampering, but you're free to try."

Michael Harrel: "What's another explosion or two aboard this here bucket o' bolts?" says Roland, and he shuts the door behind him.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling grumbles, "Fair point."

Michael Harrel: Dorothea Post seems to take Roland's exit as a cue for something. She grabs the horn to the cargo bay for some reason and hoots like an owl three times into it.

Then she replaces the comm and continues flying as if nothing has happened.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling eyes the helmswoman suspiciously, her hand on her pistol, then relaxes after nothing much happens for several breaths.

Michael Harrel: There's a thud from somewhere aft. Roland distinctly says, "OOF!"

"Drunk and clumsy already," murmurs Felix, eyeing the portal aft disdainfully.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn soars throught the air on Humphrey.

Michael Harrel: Dr. Higgenbotham, flying on Humphrey, chasing what's-her-name's aircraft.

The Assitant Professor is headed toward a large object hovering just above the clouds. It's hard to see what exactly it is, other than FUCKING HUGE.

As they approach, Evelyn sees that Harriet (or whatever her name is) is headed toward a gigantic airship the size of a city, built around what appears to be the energy weapon DOOMSDAY DEVICE. The device seems to be constructed mostly from the Drs. Higgenbotham's design, but with odd modifications that Evelyn thinks are somewhat questionable. For example: No pastry!

Both of the tiny vessels zoom towards the gigantic warship.

CUT TO: Marshall awakens, chained to a laboratory slab.

Marshall: Rrrrgh…What in tarnation??


"Aw, shee-at." ::spits::


There is a clock on the wall, ticking out the seconds.

When thirty seconds pass, the door to the north opens and a Gentleman in White enters the room, floating three feet off the ground, with several rocket launchers and guns already set to fire.

Only, Marshall's chains don't release.


The Aether. Roland hasn't returned for several minutes. Dorothea whistles like a sparrow into the comm to Sparling's quarters, and resumes flight.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling pretends not to notice, but slowly, silently, cocks her pistol.

Michael Harrel: It's hard not to notice, however, as Dorothea hails the engine room by screeching, "COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOOO!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Fed up, Sparling draws the pistol and aims it Dorothea. "All right, what the bloody hell is going on?"

Michael Harrel: "Um, excuse me, miss," says Felix, "but…what the fuck are you doing?"

"Just practicing me bird calls," winks Dorothea. As she says this, there's a scream from the vicinity of Evelyn's quarters, and glancing out the window Sparling sees an unfamiliar pirate falling through the air toward the ground below.

There's a light tapping on the door.

"CAW! CAW!" comes a voice that doesn't sound much like Roland's.

Michael Harrel: "Oh, it's Roland," says Dorothea. "BRAWWWWK! BRAWWWWK!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling smirks, just a little, at the plummeting pirate, then turns her attention back to Dorothea. "Which call signals your accomplices to abort the mission?"

Michael Harrel: The handle turns.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling shoots the door. Sparling shoots the door again.

Michael Harrel: There's a blast of scattershot through the door, and then a pirate falls through it. There are five more where that came from. "This here's a mutiny! Everyone put your hands up, or ye'll be forced to walk the…er…Professor's quarters."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling tosses her pocketknife to Felix, who holds it to Post's throat. "That door is half a yard wide," she calls to the waiting pirates. "You lot stay in a nice straight line, and I'll shoot you one at a time."

Michael Harrel: "If yer gun is powerful enough, ye can shoot all of us at once!"
"Shut up, Jonesy!"

The Pirates move so as to not be single-file

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling regards her pistol dubiously, then counts the bullets still in her pocket.

Michael Harrel: "We've got Roland out here!" says one of the pirates. "We ain't afraid to do things to 'im while he's unconscious and don't know it's us!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Our verbal contract stated that no harm would come to his ship. I didn't say anything about his body."

Michael Harrel: "Shit, they had a verbal contract!"
"Nobody said anything about a verbal contract!"
"It's too late now, lads, we're neck deep in it! Press on!"
"Listen, if you don't drop your weapons and come quietly we'll…er…we'll make the ship crash! Again! Well, almost!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling yawns, half-theatrically, and half because she's tired of this shite. "How terrifying," she deadpans. "And what exactly do you mean by 'come quietly'? You don't want us to emit any satisfying screams of terror as you drop us out Higgenbotham's murder-hole?"

Michael Harrel: "Well, you could scream a little…I guess. Actually that might be better!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I have a better arrangement. In the corridor just before the ladder to the cargo bay, there are two dozen parachutes. Never been used. You lot go put them on and jump out the trapdoor, and I promise that when Captain Devlin wakes up, I'll tell him the people who clubbed him with a blunt object and tried to use him as collateral while he slumbered were hoboes, or possibly Automatons. You can scurry back to the Prevenge before we get there, and no one will be the wiser." Sparling shrugs. "Or you can keep loitering in my corridor and end up dead."

Michael Harrel: "Does that include the lass piloting your ship?" says one of the pirates.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling considers Post carefully. "She stays. I've never fired a competent pilot over a little thing like mutiny. And with her here, you might not be so eager to fly the Prevenge after us and shoot us down out of spite."

Sparling doesn't mention the fact that she's never fired a mutineer because she prefers to shoot them, or that she has absolutely no intention of keeping the pirates' mutiny a secret from Devlin.

Michael Harrel: "You're in no position to bargain, SpAARRRRling. Sorry. We have your engine room and your helm! You handing over command is basically a formality at this point. Who's gonna steer the ship if Dorothea doesn't want to? Yer navigator?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Or myself, certainly. I did own this ship for quite a while before I found a decent pilot, you know. In any case, you could stand there making claims about my position to bargain, or you could go get a parachute before I start shooting."

Michael Harrel: "For your information," says Felix. "I can fly the Aether quite sufficiently."


There's suddenly a smoking gun in Dorothea's hand. Felix slumps over the navigation table.

"Obviously it's not going to him," says one of the pirates.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling shoots Post.

Michael Harrel: "Right, that'll have to be you, then…How yer going to pilot AND fend off a bunch of dirty, thieving, mutinous, parasitical, disgusting, treacherous, unscrupulous"
"Enough, Emule!"
sorry, got carried away—…pirates, at the same time, is beyond me! So are ye going to surrender nice and quiet-like, and pilot the ship to a safe location without crashing it, or do we have to do this the hard way?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling reloads and aims at the lead pirate once more, then edges sideways to check Felix's pulse.

Michael Harrel:

Higgenbotham on the DOOMSDAY DEVICE. How she's managed to sneak aboard, we're handwaving. But she's definitely really pregnant, so probably she hasn't snuck aboard so much as conspicuously waddled. Thus, we can assume they weren't expecting visitors.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn follows Harriet.

Michael Harrel: Harriet is pushing Edouard on a gurney. At the end of the hallway, she meets up with two Gentlemen in Black. "After the operation, you're certain he'll remember and love me and forget about that DAMNED miss know-it-all-isn't-even-a-real-doctor?" Harriet demands.

"Indubitably, my dear Asst. Professor," says one of the gentlemen, who is nonchalantly reading a copy of the Mechanus Times. "After the operation, he will be much more amiably disposed to both our plans."

Michael Harrel: "And incidentally, Miss Higgenbotham did recieve a diploma recently," says the other gentleman.
"Yes, but it was at gun point, which puts the legitimacy of the document into some question, surely."
"Oh, surely, my dear chap. But it was signed by President Flogiston himself, so technically —"
"My dear sir, this is hardly the time for such a discussion. The operating room is waiting. We shall commence as soon as the test is finished."
"What test?" says Harriet.
"Oh, well you see," begins the gentleman, but then they go around the corner and the next sentence is lost.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn follows.

Michael Harrel: CUT TO: MARSHALL, strapped to the table. The gentleman in white pauses. Marshall looks at him with steely grey eyes. The chains still don't detach.

"…well this is somewhat awkward," says the Gentleman. "Those chains are supposed to detach, and then you're supposed to go for the gun, and then I'm supposed to shoot you."

"Reckon that's what they said," says Marshall. "I'm left a bit flabbergasted myself."

"Well…tell you what. I'll just…go back in the room here, and jump out again, and maybe the chains will detach, this time mmm?"

Marshall cocks his head. "Worth a try, stands to reason."

The gentleman retreats behind the door. "And…and shall I yell out 'AHA!' when I come through the door, or shall I just open fire? It might help if I yell out 'AHA!' don't you think? That way I can intimidate you *and* it leaves ample time to make certain the chains have disengaged. What do you say?"

"Suit yerself," says Marshall.

"Shall I count to three?" says the gentleman.

"I shall count to three. One…two…three!"

The chains disengage.
"AHA!" yells the gentleman, storming through the door. The gun from the table is already in Marshall's hand. BANG! The gentleman's head disappears.

The gentleman opens fire anyway. There are loud explosions and gunshots. Some pieces of the gentleman fly every which way. Some pieces of Marshall fly every which way.

CUT TO: The Aether.

Sparling reloads and aims at the lead pirate once more, then edges sideways to check Felix's pulse. It is very, very faint, and if the situation with the mutinous pirates does not resolve itself very quickly, it might disappear entirely. Sparling's relief is obvious, and she returns her full attention to the pirates.

Michael Harrel: Sparling has four shots remaining.

The Aether might start to descend, if not for the fact that it's an airship, which, despite the seeming trend in the series to date, are things that generally like to stay in the air.

The pirates make their move, bursting through the door and firing wildly!

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling fires back from behind the overturned chart table, where she has also stowed Felix for the moment.

Michael Harrel: The pirates manage to shoot up the whole bridge pretty well, but don't seem to hit Sparling or Felix at all. Sparling, on the other hand, shoots each of them one by one in turn, until — click! she's out of bullets. This would be a problem, were it not for Roland, who decks the pirate on the back of the head with a large bottle of gin, which still has an explosive attached to it.

Michael Harrel: "Poor Emule! I always said the booze would be his downfall…Except not really; pirates aren't usually judgmental about such things. Anyway. Let's go get your friends and find a doctor for your navigator there, assuming he's still alive."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Indeed."

Michael Harrel: CUT TO: Higgenbotham, following Harriet and the gentlemen. From somewhere ahead there's the sound of firing guns and explosions.

"The operating room is right next to the test chamber," one of the gentlemen is explaining. "It should be safe from stray bullets in a few moments. We may want to hold back a moment."

Michael Harrel: The firing and explosions cease.
"Ah, excellent. I shall be most interested in hearing the results."
"I shan't," says the other. "If the test is successful, I fear it may mean we shall be turned out of our jobs."
"Don't you mean extinct?" rejoins the first.
They enter the operating room, with Edouard still unconscious on the gurney. "Prepare the lobotobot," says the first gentleman. Harriet activates a really grotesquely evilish looking automaton, which looks a lot like the interrogation droid from Episode IV. Edouard moans, regaining consciousness slightly. The sight of the lobotobot brings him around fully.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Good lord!" he exclaims and tries to scurry backwards.

Michael Harrel: Unfortunately he is trapped by the restraints.
"Shouldn't we put him under?" says Harriet.
"I'm afraid time is of the essence, my dear," says the gentleman. "Besides, I should think to a mind as scientific as yours the opportunity to witness the effect of a full personality-shift lobotomy on an unanesthetized patient would be most fascinating."
"The loud screaming could be somewhat unpleasant," points out the other gentleman.
"Oh…I suppose so, my good man, but all in the name of science, whot whot?"
"Right, right."

BANG! A bullet strikes the buckle of Edouard's restraints, and ricochets off into the depths of the lobotobot, which promptly explodes, taking one of the Gentlemen with it. The other gentleman leaps away, pulling out his riding crop and lighting a cigar.

Marshall, or a bit of him anyway, is in the doorway with a revolver. "Run for it, doc—" he says. "And hope when one of 'em plugs you, he knows how to shoot straight enough to make it quick." He grimaces in pain, and collapses.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn uses this opportunity to sneak up behind everyone, specifically Harriet. She taps her on the shoulder. When the Assistant Professor turns around, she is shocked to see Evelyn. But not for long because she is then shocked to see an operating tray. In the face.

Michael Harrel: She falls into the sparking remnant of the lobotobot, and is shocked again! Brrrrzzzt!

As Edouard and Evelyn flee the scene, the lobotobot goes to work on Harriet instead!

Before they leave the room, Evelyn skids to a stop, "Wait, wait! Grab the American! I've got an idea!"

Edouard grabs Marshall, or what's left of him anyway. Evelyn whistles. Humphrey crashes through a wall, and they fly off the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, to safety.


Unless stated otherwise Content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Paper texture background by Zela.